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Apr 16, 2013 5:00pm PDT
. >> reporter: she is a 24-year-old first-year science teacher with a track record in robotics and a way with these kids. >> 1, 2, 3, illuminators. >> the age gap difference is not as great between us, and i think i can keep it real with them. >> reporter: mikayla came to apollo with a long-term goal of introducing robotics to the school, but barely a month into the job, she sprung the idea on the administrators and the students. suddenly kids who not long ago flat out weren't going to school were now spending hours after school. >> the team has put in 3,000 hours. and i think they're making better choices. >> reporter: the results are crystal clear. in their first two competitions, the illuminators swept the rookie category, not only qualifying for nationals later this month, but bringing pride and something else back to their school. >> they are actually planning on building a trophy case for the school. we didn't have one because we never had a trophy. >> reporter: growing their confidence, not just in science, but elsewhere. >> just because someone hasn't succeeded before in life doe
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